Friday 20 March 2009

LNP are to blame - Cr Dianne Forsyth

Labor Councillor Dianne Forsyth has come out slamming the LNP, who she believes are behind a deliberate campaign to blame Labor over the plan to mandatory introduce fluoride.

"I would like to publicly distance myself from the anti-fluoride campaign that appears to have been taken over by LNP members and supporters, Forsyth says.

"I do not condone the posters authorised by (former Councillor) Annette Sheppard," Forsyth says. "I totally dissociate myself from this blatant politically motivated action."

LNP's Wendy Richardson, who joined Forsyth some weeks ago as a supporter of the fluoride debate being opened up to the public, says she is personally opposed to the public being forced to consume fluoride and wanted to support the rally.

"As far as I can tell, there are probably three people who are associated with LNP or are supporters including me, at least one Labor person, excluding Dianne, two Green supporters, an independent, and three others who I am not aware of having a political affiliation, but I am confident are not LNP members or supporters," Richard said in response to Forsyth's claim that the LNP are behind the street-side poster campaign.

The anti-fluoride group that has been meeting for some years in Cairns has always maintained that the campaign would be non political.

"The group which I joined was convened first I believe only months ago after another person sought to run an anti-fluoride rally, "Wendy Richardson says. "It was thought it was better to combine forces. Many members were obviously used to working together in the group Dianne mentions."

"The need to speak out against Labor became obvious recently when people felt there was no other alternative left," Wendy Richards told CairnsBlog.

However Dianne Forsyth says the posters next to Labor election posters clearly targets Steve Wettenhall, the Labor candidate for Barron River.

However there are anti-fluoride posters up around Cairns and Mulgrave as well.

"I want to totally disassociate myself from this politically-motivated action," she said today.

"The fact is the LNP did not vote against the Water Fluoridation Bill when it passed through the Queensland Parliament and there are LNP MP’s like the Member for Surfers Paradise, a former dentist, who support the addition of fluoride into the water," Forsyth says.

LNP’s stance is that they will not prevent water being fluoridated if that is what the people want, Richardson says.

"We acknowledge there is a great diversity of opinion on this topic in LNP and the community.
When the Bligh Labor Government changed the Fluoride legislation late last year, LNP supported it because it allowed for a choice to be given to the people on the topic of Fluoride to be added to water supplies," she says.

"However we also sought to amend the legislation by returning to referendums. The Government rejected that amendment. Next, LNP sought to amend the Act to have the cost of reverse osmosis water filters highly subsidised by anyone who didn’t want to have fluoride in their household water," says Richardson. "This too was rejected by the Bligh government."

Dianne Forsyth says that nowhere on the LNP website is there any statement about their policy on Fluoride. "The view of LNP candidate for Barron River, Wendy Richardson is her own personal view and not one that the LNP support," says Forsyth.

Richardson rejects this.

"The view I have repeatedly expressed is the official stated LNP stance," she says. "Joel Harrop, LNP candidate for Cairns also reiterated it to over 150 people when he and I attended the Anti Enforced Fluoridation Rally."

"I do have a personal view, but I am comfortable that it fits within the policy of the LNP," Wendy Richardson says.

Dianne Forsyth says there are members of all parties in our [anti-fluoride] group and members will vote as their conscience dictates. The anti-fluoride Committee convened for many years does not recommend a vote for any particular party.

Again Richardson says Dianne Forsyth has got it wrong.

"Correction Di. The current group does condemn Labor for forcing fluoride upon people. It does not however recommend voting for LNP or the Greens or Independents. It just says ‘No to Labor’," Richardson said in response.

"Also, her statement above is in direct contradiction of Di’s statement earlier; that the group has ‘been taken over’ by LNP supporters," Richardson says.

"Times have changed, and so has the Labor Government’s attitude. They have gone from promising to have referendums before the last state election, to insisting they have the right to mass medicate people," Wendy Richardson says.

"Such an attitude leaves no room to quibble when people believe that essential health is at risk.
All other avenues have been tried but failed to stop Anna Bligh and her government from enforcing fluoridation of water," Richardson says.

"Di’s loyalty to her party is so strong that she obviously now feels she must turn her back on the anti-fluoridation group as its views will damage Labor," says Richardson.

"But Labor have no-one but themselves to blame for that."


Anonymous said...

For goodness and I mean goodness (health) sake will the LNP get over the Fluoride argument. They allowed the Bill to pass in a democratic way asking for 2 amendments only. When a party has NO policies to promote they grab at anything. Just like the Yacht Club issue. I want to see the facts that fluoride in water in the state of N.S.W. has damaged persons health, and that people are suffering needlessly. I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the fluoride issue is not just a party political issue. It is about people being angry about being forced to have something put in their water which they have decided for their own reasons that they don't want.

I grew up with parents who believed in fluoride treatment. My brothers and sisters and I had free fluoride tablets (from the local council) as well as fluoride painted on our teeth by dentists and also fluoride in our toothpaste. We also had a reasonably healthy diet without the amount of added sugar and luxury foods such as soft drinks which are so popular today (A whole aisle in the supermarket devoted to soft drink???).

Guess what! We've all had decay, fillings, and root canal treatments. The fact is, fluoride isn't the whole answer.

So disappointing to see a government at State and Local level taking the stance they have.